"Have Courage and Be Kind" Embroidery Pattern

This "Have Courage and Be Kind" embroidery pattern is a simple design that can be printed and ironed-onto fabric or traced and sewn.

"I love sewing. Sewing's my favorite!" Channeling my inner Buddy the Elf, I feel about sewing and embroidery how he feels about Christmas. A few weeks ago, I posted on Instagram a photo of an embroidery patch on which I was working. Having been so consumed with learning new skills and projects, I've neglected my favorite "gateway" craft--embroidery! 

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If you can't tell from the name of my blog--I love Cinderella. The Disney cartoon growing up was so full of visual style, sweet music, one of my favorite pastimes (sewing) and a young woman who, even though abused and ostracized, continued to be kind, brave, and have dreams of her own.

Click to see more of this handmade Slipper Necklace

Reading every book available in the local library to me, my mother definitely read the original Perrault and Grimm versions when I was young. Both of which I also quite enjoyed (being a huntress meant blood and gore didn’t bother me from a young age).

With all of this love of lore woven into my childhood, you can imagine my excitement when one of my favorite Downton Abbey actresses and Game of Thrones heart throbs came together in the recent live-action adaptation.

Being in my first trimester of my second pregnancy around the time Cinderella came to theaters, my husband and I couldn't go see it. The smells of the theater would have meant constant vomiting during the showing, which would have spoiled everything!

We waited until it came out in rental form, and both thoroughly enjoyed it. After debuting in theaters, I read sparing reviews to keep myself from being too sad about having to wait to see it, but that wouldn't spoil it for me. You can imagine my frustration when the first few articles I dared read, did little but lament and bad-mouth Lily James’ tiny waistline.

As someone who's had an incredibly small waist most of her life, thanks to a naturally willowy frame and participation in intensive sports as a young adult, I rolled my eyes and decided to make judgments myself when the time came.

Cinderella is now one of my all-time favorite movies! The visual aesthetics are exactly as beautiful as I wanted them to be, the performances were stellar, it wasn’t a musical (and the one “Lavender’s Blue” lullaby is a precious addition to our family’s repertoire), and the updated content made this my favorite live-action Disney re-telling to date.

“Have Courage and Be kind” is a mantra Cinderella uses to soothe herself in times of trial or angst, as it is something taught to her by her mother. This idea of making the best of what you have, pushing through tough times, while still dreaming of better things to come is such a wonderful message.

Choosing to be kind in the face of evil and horrible things done to you takes some inner strength I would venture most people do not possess.

Can you tell I like making Cinderella things?
It is easy in an abusive situation (which is most certainly Cinderella’s case) to turn hard, cold, and inflict your pain on others, but in choosing to remain kind, Cinderella moves through the film as a teacher and spirit of goodness who helps guide other characters through decisions and difficulties, acting as almost a fairy godmother to everyone around her.

The actual Fairy Godmother, played by the lovely Helena Bonham Carter, is a whimsical, slightly ditzy, goofy version of the matriarchal character in the animated film.

As far as Cinderella’s waistline? Lily James has a naturally slim figure, and as someone who’s worn many a corset through theater classes, medieval cosplay, and renaissance faires—they make everyone’s waist tiny! The broad shoulders and extremely voluminous skirt of Cinderella’s ball gown also add to the optical illusion of a thinner waist, so let’s stop commenting on female characters’ body types, and start paying attention to what they are actually saying!

Cinderella is an incredibly strong character who perfectly embodies one of my favorite Iain Thomas quotes:
Photo Rights to Walt Disney Co. - Quote Rights to Iain Thomas

Inspired by my favorite character and her mantra that I’ve used many times myself, I made a cute, little embroidery pattern for making into hoop art or a patch for a child’s backpack, hat, or sewing bag.

You'll need:

There are a few ways to transfer these patterns to your fabric: iron-on appliqué (mirrored), tracing, or tissue paper pattern.

The pattern download below is free, but there is an option for making a donation to support this blog (so I can keep making tutorials for you). Thank you in advance to any patrons who offer donations, your support means more than words can express! If you opt for the free download, it will only ask for your email address to send your PDFs to. Enjoy! 

I personally used the iron-on style in my sample photos. This way also allows you to only embroider the parts you feel comfortable sewing. The spool of thread is a hand-painted watercolor design that you may want to leave like it is, only sewing along the letters, but it is up to you.

To make the design iron-on, follow the printer setting guidelines on your transfer instruction sheet, download and print the mirrored image on your sheet, let the ink dry, then iron your design onto your desired fabric—-again, according to your transfer sheet instructions.

Once it is cooled, place your fabric in an embroidery hoop and fetch your needle and thread!

I used a back-stitch for the letters, then filler stitches for the spool components. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Let me know in the comments if you have any other phrases or designs you’d like to see 😁 If you make this design, please tag me on Instagram, so I can see it @cinderellasews!

Have courage and be kind friends,


  1. I don't sew, but I am enjoying teaching myself to embroider. As I read about Cinderella and her importance in your life's philosophy, I thought about my own situation, starting out with abuse perpetrated by several people, the years of living (or pretending) cynicism/bitterness/anger, and my recent realization that blame doesn't help. Also, forgiveness is so healing, and reconciliations (when they're safe) are incredibly freeing. And I'm finally discovering that life is worth living, and having so much fun learning how to laugh and be silly for it's own sake. There's a part of me that will never forget, even though I have forgiven, but I really try to use the lessons learned through memories and trials to extend compassion to other hurting people. You know how that goes, right? When a person finds that life is worth living, s/he wants to make sure everyone else knows it. It takes a ton of courage to continue to heal, to share life experience with others and to help them along their healing journey. As for kindness, that's a bit of magic fairy dust that helps change lives in a huge way! Without kindness, there is no healing, and the healing makes us kinder people. That's just a really long way of saying that I loved reading this post. I identify with a lot of it, now that I'm on the side where there is light. So, with your permission, I want to embroider the phrase, but use stitches and stencils that are easy for me to follow with my fingers since I can't see. Here goes nothing! :)


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